Summary: A detailed look at a major battlefield of Christian liberty
Most battles (including in the church) throughout history were fought by two opposing forces who firmly believed they were right, and the other was wrong, so much so that they were willing to kill to hold and propagate their beliefs.
Every human being has confirmation biases of selective thinking because people often look for what confirms their beliefs (be they truly correct or incorrect), and ignore, undervalue, or not look for, information or facts that could contradict those beliefs due to the subconscious fear of conflict brought about by cognitive dissonance.
Brilliant biblical scholars throughout history have looked at the same Scriptures and interpreted them very differently. That has happened since the beginning of time and why we have so many denominations and specific identifying beliefs.
Those who disagree with a person’s confirmation bias most often use backwards reasoning and inductive logic to argue their side and then label the person that disagrees with them as a heretic, full of the devil, perverting, twisting and eisegeting the Scriptures, spouting doctrines of demons, a liar, false prophet, etc, etc, etc.
One of the biggest areas of contention within the church is whether or not it is acceptable for a Christian to drink alcohol. Some people adamantly insist that Jesus drank alcohol, and others adamantly insist that He did not. The truth is that the arguments for and against are based on a great deal of speculation.
Below are some facts about alcohol and specifically wine, that a Born-Again Christian should know to make an informed choice, as well as questions that need be honestly addressed before a person decides if they want to drink alcohol (moderately of course!).
What is Alcohol and how does it affect the Human Body?
Alcohol is a generic term for ethanol (C2H50H) which is a clear and highly flammable liquid and is produced by the fermentation of many natural foods including various fruits, such as grapes, or pomegranates. Even orange juice will have a slight amount of alcohol in it caused by fermentation. (Note: From this point forward I will refer to ethanol as alcohol)
By medical definition, alcohol is a drug and is the most common and dangerous used drug in the world followed by tobacco, cannabis, and caffeine. All drugs have the potential for unhealthy and harmful outcomes when used. The consumption of it is the number one drug problem in the United States and accounts for over half of the murders, drownings, suicides, family break-ups and highway fatalities. It is highly addictive, and the human body reacts to it like a toxic poison because it kills cells. It was never intended for human consumption. It will take a grave toll on a person’s health. Some people have a genetic propensity for alcohol use disorders and mental health risks. Alcohol can change mood and behavior as it makes it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
Alcohol interferes with how the brain communicates with the various systems of the body and can affect how it works. It is a depressant and can cause mental health and emotional injuries such as low self-esteem, loss of memory, poor judgment, confusion, clinical depression, anxiety, progressive lethargy, temporary euphoria, slurred speech, dementia, disorientation, loss of body function, dangerous uninhibited behavior, such as unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, and even suicide.
Alcohol, in any quantity, can weaken the immune system and make the body more susceptible to multiple diseases such pancreatitis, which is a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion; diabetes; liver disease including steatosis (fatty liver), hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, as well as heart disease, such as high blood pressure, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, stomach ulcers, and several types of cancers such as of the mouth, throat esophagus, liver, and breast.
In high quantities, it can cause vomiting, coma, and even death from shutting the respiratory system and destruction of the liver. Drinking alcohol will increase a person’s chance of being injured or killed in an automobile accident or by falling, burns, violence, sexual assault, severe trauma and even homicide.
Women of childbearing age who drink alcohol in any amount are in danger of causing damage to their reproductive systems especially around the time of conception because they risk damaging the chromosomes of an egg preparing to leave the ovary which will cause mental and physical developmental defects of the baby, known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, including brain damage as well as the increased risk of miscarriage or even stillbirth.
Although dietary guidelines and legal definitions exist there are no legitimate standards to determine just how little alcohol a person can drink to be considered under the influence because it will metabolize differently in each person based on such things as their size, age, gender, general health, genetic propensity and whether they have eaten or been drinking water as well. For some excessive alcohol consumption could be just a sip as a single drop enters their bloodstream and begins its depressive effects and physical impairments.